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Dumaguete City, Philippines Friday, July 8, 2016
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Bishop urges new
priest to persevere

Bishop Julito Cortes of the Diocese of Dumaguete has encouraged the new priest of the diocese, Rev. Fr. Romolito Zerna Reyes, to persevere and never give up as he begins his new journey serving the people in his ministry.

Cortes told Fr. Reyes during his recent ordination here to not be afraid, just as Jesus had assured his disciples when he sent them to do their mission.

“So, as the Lord Jesus assures His disciples, he assures you too,” the bishop said.

“Since he has called you to go on a mission, the Lord Himself will sustain you in your own endeavors, in particular, in carrying out his tasks,” Cortes added.

He said in his homily during the ordination that it is never easy and never certain to respond to the call to the priesthood.

Along the way to ordination, there are so many obstacles, some personal, some due to differences with peers or superiors and some other reasons like sickness, accidents, or financial misfortunes, Cortes said.

But he reminded the new priest that the Lord will sustain him as he responds to God's call.

He exhorted Reyes to pray that, “unworthy though you may feel, God himself will make you worthy”.

Cortes described as a gift to the diocese Fr. Reyes, who the bishop ordained to the priesthood Tuesday at the Cathedral of St. Catherine of Alexandria in Dumaguete.

“We cannot thank God enough for his generosity to us,” Cortes, who turned 60 recently, said.

Meanwhile, Cortes said that being 60 means that he will have 15 more years to serve as bishop of Dumaguete, considering that the retirement age of a bishop is 75 years old.

“So, it goes both ways, also for the people, they will have to bear with me for the next 15 years, and so we will have to work it out,” Cortes said lightheartedly.

Cortes turned 60 on Monday, and shared that his personal wish was for him to “be true to the call of God for him because it is really a work in progress.”*JFP



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